Yogya has many essential places to show its identity. One of them is... Malioboro. This place’s considered as the most famous street in Yogyakarta. Why do we call it “famous”? Because along the street you can find so much things like souvenirs, batiks, food vendors and even street art perfomances. It’s very good place for shoppers, isn’t it?
Another well-known place's Beringharjo market. As the largest traditional market in Yogyakarta, it provides batik and souvenirs as well so in order to get a good price, we should be a good bargainer too. And for getting a great sensation on our fun holiday, pedicab or andong could be the best choice to drive us around. Yogyakarta's identical with Malioboro. Every person who took time here would have to come here. Until now, this place still survives as the trade center and be one of icons of Yogyakarta. There’re two history versions of Malioboro’s naming. The first’s taken from the name of an English gentleman, namely Marlborough, a resident of the United Kingdom in the city of Yogyakarta in 1811 AD to 1816 AD. The second one’s taken from Sanskrit which means "bouquet", since this place used to be filled with a bouquet of flowers when the Palace held celebration.
The curiosity about Malioboro history us made end up to ask directly the one person who has worked for about forty years, named Pak Siswo, 66 year-old, a cabman who's devoted himself since the 70's on Sultan Hamengkubuwono X (HB X) period. He told us slightly about its story while sitting on his andong remembering the old Malioboro. He said, andong can onlypark in front of Beringharjo Market, so the street in front of it had become overcrowded, even though no sidewalks and no many street vendors around. The road was used only for pedestrians. Since most vehicles were still dominated by pedicab and andong, he admitted that it was easier to earn money. Regarding the urban development, there were no attics, not too many hotels, and still many large trees on the roadside for preventing from air pollution. However,one-way street was already prevailed, and wider.
In contrast to Malioboro now, we can see there're already sidewalks, so andong and pedicab are allowed to park around it. Another good things, andong and pedicab are under the supervision of Sultan HB X, including licensing in putting attributes on it, or the provision of uniforms of those who want to promote the certain products. It aims to maintain the public order and also security. This makes Sultan HB X easy to control and invite the cabman to participate in the palace celebrations.
Urban development around the street depends on Mayor who reigned, for example: previous Mayor wants putting plant pots along the way, but now, the mayor wanta sidewalk's planted with grass, so no more plant pots for giving a better view. Mostly large trees have also been cut down for safety and there're a lot of street vendors selling batik or souvenirs.
Life goes on , and the seasons kept changing. Now, Pak Siswo considers his work not only as a way to earn money, but also as an entertainment, remember the increasing of the number of competitors such as Trans Jogja bus, taxi, etc., although he admitted that it's difficult in earning money as a cabman today. Absolutely, Yogya also has another famous place. Guess what? Great! Pasar Kembang, known as Sarkem. People said it’s an interesting place for men who are exhausted, located in the heart of city. Now, Sosrowijayan has changed. Either it’s a matter of system or they way the prostitutes behave and dress up. For private reason, they're only given the HIV/AIDS vaccination twice a month. Skill building was even completely removed from agenda on 2010 so some of them were taken and the rest were stayed. However, they still go to school and get lessons at least until Senior High. In time, they're fully devoted themselves to be a prostitute and no longer rely on the attendant to earn money and freely attract the visitors who are normally coming from pupils and students. By doing so, they tend to wear miniskirt and tank-top.
So in short, they seek for men so the more visitors they served, the more money they got. Our interviewee's an old woman who has settled in Sosromenduran for almost 65 years. Her name is Mariyani , a widower who become the elder at Sosrowijayan Kulon RT 17 RW 03. She has five children who are working as a tailor and hairdresser. When we asked about the history of why people called this place as Sarkem, she gave us a very clear explanation that it's no more than just a name of Street around Malioboro, not place where the prostitution takes place, but Sosrowijayan. Back then, Sosrowijayan, which has three hundreds or something inhabitans, became a complex of kos-kosan as University of Proklamasi was established and inns for sellers, mostly from Bandung and Jakarta besides as the residence of the prostitutes or place for them to get money. They themselves mainly come from Jepara, East Java and Cilacap so this place also gave a lodging for temporary staying. Then, they should register to Bunga Seroja and will be announced to others on the meeting later. That's how procedure is running.
The prostitutes were raised to get education like others by the local citizens and build their skill in cooking and sewing. They got regular vaccination every week to avoid HIV/AIDS. How they dress up formerly like commoners and more polite –wearing a jeans or midi-skirt combine with shirt or blouse-. They went to school in the morning and go working at night until predawn. This prostitution's already exist since colonial period. The visitors came from Indochinese people and artists. When they want to, let’s call it, be ‘served’, they must ask attendant first so the prostitute just stayed at inns and waited for the visitors. Around the 60’s, some of the prostitutes were moved to place around Kotagede but then they returned due to the government’s plan to build Giwangan Station. The situation was uncontrolled and disorganized -so many drunken got into fight and mini nightclubs were opened nonstop-.
Ps: this was group's work ;). My group's name is Papertoy, you can peep other member's blog from here.